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Sex establishment licence

Sex establishments are licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

A sex establishment can be a:

  • sex shop (any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for business that consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles)
  • sex cinema (any premises used to a significant degree for the showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity)
  • sexual entertainment venue (any premises at which a live display of nudity, or live performance which is intended to stimulate sexual activity, is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or entertainer)

If you want to run a sex establishment, you will need to be licensed by us.

Sex establishment guidance and conditions

Please read our guidance and conditions before you submit an application.

Sex establishment standard conditions (PDF, 235 KB)

Sex establishment licensing policy

Sex Establishment Licensing Policy - November 2019 (PDF, 229 KB)

Apply for a sex establishment licence

Before you apply

Before submitting an application, please ensure you’ve read our sex establishment guidance and conditions:

Sex establishment standard conditions (PDF, 235 KB)

You should also contact our planning department, to ensure you have the correct planning permission.

Application form

Sex Establishment Licence application form (DOCX, 43.32 KB)


New licence application fees 
Application fee£2575
Licence Grant fee£1544
Renewal application fees 
Application fee£1645
Licence Grant fee£1265

Consultation process

All new, renewal and variation applications must be advertised:

  • an advertisement (in the form prescribed by us) must be placed in a local newspaper circulating in Barking and Dagenham, not later than seven days after the date of application.
  • a public notice (in the form approved us) must be displayed for 21 days from with the date of application, on or near the premises and in a place where the notice can conveniently be read by the public.
  • once the application has been advertised, you must complete and return a public notice certificate, along with a complete copy of the newspaper which contains your advert.

Make a complaint about sex establishment premises

If have a complaint about a licence

Contact our Licensing team. You'll need to provide:

  • your name and contact phone number
  • details of the premises you wish to complain about
  • details of what your complaint or problem is

All complaints are dealt with in the strictest confidence and your details will not be released, but are required for us to contact you for further details.

Public notices

Public Notice - Sex establishment Policy (PDF, 92 KB)


No current applications.

Licensing Team

Barking Town Hall, Lower Ground,1 Clock House Avenue, Barking IG11 7LU